Issue 13 /2015

ON CRISIS

ed. by Leszek Kopciuch

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From the Editorial Board fulltext.pdf (in English)

Leszek Kopciuch, On Crisis. Introductory Remarks fulltext.pdf (in English)

T H E M E   A R T I C L E S:

Leszek Gawor, An Attempt at a Typology of Catastrophic Thought fulltext.pdf (in Polish with summary in English and German)

The idea of catastrophism is discussed at the outset, as a pure form of historiosophic pessimism of the end times, and positioned in relation to the idea of crisis. The article goes on to introduce distinctions in catastrophism – in terms of scope (total or particular) and nature of its course (inevitable and irreversible or only hypothetical, alternative). The juxtaposition of the abovementioned catastrophic approaches results in four variants of catastrophic thoughts: 1. consistent total catastrophism; 2. consistent particular catastrophism; 3. alternative total catastrophism and 4. alternative particular catastrophism. These models are then used to formulate the general definition of “catastrophism”.

Keywords: civilization, catastrophic thought typology, catastrophism, crisis, culture, destruction, philosophy of history


Witold P. Glinkowski, A Crisis of Humanity – a Threat or an Opportunity? fulltext.pdf (in Polish with summary in English and German)

The aim of the article is to contest a tendency – one which is not recent but clearly evident in contemporary reflection on the human being – to perceive the problem of the crisis of humanity in terms of a function of a civilisational crisis. The crisis diagnosed in the technological-civilisational sphere and the crisis threatening the human being using this sphere are non-homogeneous and even disjunctive phenomena. Both crisis have been diagnosed as regards their causes, consequences and preventative measures from numerous philosophical positions (the Frankfurt school, E. Husserl, and others). It turns out, however, that the problem may only be fully captured if it is positioned in the ethical space of a meeting, described by philosophers of dialogue (M. Buber, A.J. Heschel, E. Lévinas). And if civilisational crises are challenges to overcome, the „crisis of humanity” is a vital and topical premise supporting the irreducibility of the human being to the civilisational framework of the human life.

Keywords: crisis, philosophy of dialogue, person, civilisation, Husserl


Jacek Breczko, The Disappearance of Metaphysical Feelings as a Cause of the Crisis of Culture fulltext.pdf (in Polish with summary in English and German)

In my opinion, the unquestionable progress in technology is currently accompanied by the crisis of culture in the West. What is controversial is its intensification. One may defend a view that what is developing is simultaneously partly decomposing. Thus, crisis is permanent and is a function of progress, but it is also impossible to reject the accuracy of the catastrophic diagnosis. This crisis undoubtedly manifests itself differently and has different sources. In this article I focus on the source pointed by I. S. Witkiewicz: on the disappearance of the “Metaphysical Sense of the Oddity of Existence” as well as its results. I try to apply Witkacy’s diagnosis, which seems to me generally accurate, to modern times. In my opinion, the disappearance of metaphysical feelings is now stimulated by a not only increasingly convenient and hermetic “civilisation cocoon” yet also “oblivion of death” (death becomes taboo in the culture) as well as the methodological naturalism in science, which results in the world ceasing to appear “odd” or “mysterious”. All this damages and “sterilizes” the upper tiers of culture, which means that it affects adversely the activities of artistic, philosophical or religious elites.

Keywords: culture, crisis, catastrophism, S. I. Witkiewicz


Alicja Wesołowska, Husserl’s Understanding of Crisis and the Transcendental Phenomenology fulltext.pdf (in Polish with summary in English and German)

Phenomenology as a science on transcendental subjectivity has been established through the critical consideration of the idea of cognition. The interpretation of crisis presented in the article is a result of analyses concerning the theoretical and practical-ethical motives in Husserl’s philosophy. From this point of view, phenomenology can be understood as a science striving to consolidate cognition and reveal findings that are relevant to one’s life. In the article we will show that the idea of phenomenology evolves in connection with considerations outlining a horizon of classic philosophical problems: epistemologic, metaphysical and ethical.

Keywords: phenomenology, crisis of science, transcendental reduction, cognition


Zbigniew Pietrzak, The Human Being and the Environment – Is There Always a Seed of Destruction in the Idea of Progress? On the Ninetieth Anniversary of Jean Dorst’s Birth (1924-2001) fulltext.pdf (in Polish with summary in English and German)

The key idea of Jean Dorst is the belief that the activity of all civilisations, as their technological and demographic development progresses, sooner or later leads to an excessive exploitation of the natural world. The consequence is that its resources deplete and state institutions collapse. Jean Dorst postulates the necessity to balance the needs of human beings and the capabilities of the environment, pointing to the role of science, politics, and even philosophy in solving these problems. Fifteen years after his death, his prognoses can be confronted with the actual development of civilisation and its impact on the environment, and the question „Must progress always be accompanied with destruction?” can be posed.

Keywords: civilisation/culture, progress, environmental threats, global civilisation


Kamil Szymański, Transhumanism fulltext.pdf (in Polish with summary in English and Geman)

In this article I present the general assumptions of the transhumanist philosophy, which was founded in the late twentieth century by Max More. This trend is only slightly known in Poland. It postulates the use of advanced biotechnology in the further evolution of the human species. The result of this process will be the appearance of the posthuman and a new posthuman world. In this article I present who – according to transhumanists – the posthuman will be, and what changes must occur for the posthuman to appear. I also sketch the utopian character of this concept.

Keywords: transhumanism, posthuman, evolution, biotechnology, philosophy

O T H E R   A R T I C L E S :

Andrzej J. Noras, The Beginnings of Cohen’s Philosophy and the Question of Psychology fulltext.pdf (in Polish with summary in English and German)

Hermann Cohen, the originator of the Neo-Kantian Marburg School, is considered one of the most radical representatives of anti-psychologism. This stance is the result of the process comprised of three integral elements, i.e., the dispute over psychology, the dispute over Plato and the dispute over Kant. As far as the first of them is concerned, Cohen sides with psychologically-inclined linguists, such as Heymann Steinthal and Moritz Lazarus. With regard to the second dispute, Cohen emerges as the interpreter of Plato that he initially theorises in the vein of psychologism, which he later on distances himself from. Finally, as regards the third dispute, this is what determines the eventual critique of the philosophy of Kant.

Keywords: Cohen, Steinthal, Lazarus, Plato, Kant


Honorata Jakuszko, The Rationale Behind the Enlightenment in the Philosophy of Novalis fulltext.pdf (in German with summary in English and Polish)

Based on original/period texts, the article constitutes the reconstruction of the ways in which Novalis (a representative of the early German Romanticism) understands the term “Enlightenment”. To him, the Enlightenment is coterminous with the historical process of the history of culture (Bildungsgeschichte), the aim of which is the comprehensive development of humanity’s holistic abilities and competences. In its narrower sense, the Enlightenment may refer only to the eighteenth century, construed as “the Age of the Enlightenment”. In his research, Novalis emphasises the historical contexts that conditioned the differences between the Enlightenment in France and in Germany (among others the German Reformation and the French Revolution). He defines the beginning of the new and higher phase of the German Enlightenment as Kante’s and Fichte’s Transcendental Philosophy, the Weimar Classicism of Goethe and Schiller as well as Schlegel’s Early German Romantic historical philosophy.

Keywords: Program of Enlightenment, Variant of Enlightenment, Early German Romanticism, Novalis, History of Culture

R E V I E W S:

Kamil Szymański, „Kwintesencja” transhumanizmu. Review: The Transhumanist Reader: Classical and Contemporary Essays on the Science, Technology, and Philosophy of the Human Future, ed. by M. More, N. Vita-More, Wiley–Blackwell, Chichester UK 2013 (460 p.) fulltext.pdf (in Polish)

R E P O R T S :

Kamil Szymański, Praktyczne aplikacje filozofii: antropologia filozoficzna, aksjologia, etyka, Lublin, 26-27 May 2015 fulltext.pdf (in Polish)


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